Keeping a project on track is particularly important in the rail construction industry, but that’s often easier said than done when projects span miles and involve hundreds of workers.
Raildiary steps in to make that easier, offering a platform that collects scheduling, health and safety, and resource data in real time, helping teams in the office keep a closer eye on what’s happening on the ground.
Founder Will Doyle built the company based on his realization that the global rail construction industry needed a better way to manage data and projects. During his time in the field as a rail infrastructure surveyor, it was common to be asked to use old-fashioned pen and paper, or, at best, a digital spreadsheet, to manually record record progress and report issues from work sites.
That, he says, led to an arduous process when trying to reconcile the time spent on a project with the work that had been done at its conclusion. After one particularly tedious round of reporting, Doyle said “never again” and decided to build a tool to automate the process.
The success of Raildiary’s product hinges heavily on workers using the app in the field, who use it to collect and report data in real time. No adoption, no data—big problem.
Often times, the workers being asked to use the software are veterans of the rail construction industry, but have very little experience using apps like Raildiary, Doyle says. Using Pendo guides, the company is able to quickly walk workers through the process of installing and learning to use the app.
Once workers are using the app, Raildiary uses Pendo to capture usage data and find out where users are getting stuck or confused. Then, they deploy in-app messages to help users past those pain points and to make navigation more efficient.
Using guides as a primary instructional method frees the team up to focus on building out new features, rather than providing support. It also means any support tickets that do come in tend to reflect issues that actually need their immediate attention.
“It’s around understanding how long it takes them to do certain elements, understanding where they’re getting stuck, and what’s costing them a lot of time,” Doyle says. “We use the data to automate whole sections and make them quicker and easier, to avoid that friction.”
Emma Nutbeem, Raildiary’s head of product, says the company was able to use Pendo usage data on as granular a level as detecting how numerous users were getting stuck on the seventh section of one particular form. “They were spending almost half the time that they spent on the entire form on that section, because they had to enter time manually,” she says.
Developers quickly got to work building an algorithm to automate that entry and clear the bottleneck. Insights like that, coupled with swift action, helped salvage a major project that Raildiary was at risk of losing entirely, Doyle says.
“We’ve now gone from a project where [the product] wasn’t working for them to a project where we’ve now got 120 users and it’s adding value of over a million pounds per annum,” he says. “We were able to fix the barriers, the problems and issues they had, by using the data we got from Pendo.”
Nutbeem says Raildiary was also able to boost their product stickiness by using Pendo to identify individual users who weren’t logging in to complete shift entries and sending them text messages with links to those tasks as reminders right before their shift started. Stickiness doubled from 22% to 44% that month.
The software’s analytics capabilities also allows Doyle to show customers Pendo data that reflects the time they’re saving by using Raildiary over manual reporting methods, proving ROI. “Senior members of [our clients’] staff, they love that data level and that they can see the facts right there,” Doyle says.